Walk in to any Japanese convenience store, and you’re bound to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices at your fingertips. Even taking a stroll through the drink aisle will leave you open-mouthed as you stare at the myriad interesting flavors and varieties to be tried.

Of course there’s green tea, barley tea, roasted tea and more, but how do Japan’s black and flavoured teas measure up? We decided we needed an expert’s opinion, so we turned to one of our English writers for help. With a sampling of 15 different teas, we put our parched taste-tester to work.

An hour of sipping, sniffing, pondering and note-taking later, our taste-tester had ranked the 15 teas in reverse order. Here’s what she found!

15. Healthia Koucha straight tea [ヘルシア紅茶 ストレートティー]  0 points


“Hm, this one’s a bit tasteless. I feel like it has a fake sweetness to it, and a fake bitterness to it as well. I don’t really care for this one…”

14. Banana Milk Tea [バナナミルクティー]  0.5 points


“This has a nice banana flavor. I used to eat banana-flavored cereal as a kid, and this tastes like the milk that was left after the cereal was gone. This doesn’t taste like tea though, only bananas. I don’t think I would call this tea.”

12. Gogo no Koucha “The Pungency” [午後の紅茶 ザ・パンジェンシー]  1 point


“I’m sorry, but this is no good. It has an aftertaste, but it’s not tea. I don’t think I would recommend this to anyone from England.”

10. Lipton Milk Tea [リプトン ミルクティー]  1 point


“It just tastes like sweetened milk. I feel like there’s too much milk, it doesn’t taste like tea at all. It’s like I’m drinking the milk leftover from cereal.”

10. Gogo no Koucha Lemon Tea [午後の紅茶 レモンティー]  2 points


“Compared to Lipton’s lemon tea, this doesn’t taste like tea at all, and it’s a bit too sweet.”

10. Lipton Pineapple Mix Tea [リプトン パインミックスティー]  2 points


“The pineapple flavor is really strong, and it tastes like artificial sweetener. It doesn’t taste at all like tea.”

6. Koucha Kaden Royal Milk Tea [紅茶花伝 ロイヤルミルクティー]  3 points


“This tastes really strongly of cream. In England we put milk in our tea, so this tastes a bit strange. And it’s a bit too sweet.”

6. Gogo no Koucha Milk Tea [午後の紅茶ミルクティー]  3 points


“This is way too sweet. It’s even sweeter than the Koucha Kaden. It’s like drinking sweetened milk. I wouldn’t call this tea.”

6. Gogo no Koucha Straight Tea [午後の紅茶ストレートティー]  3 points


“This does taste like tea, but it’s rather sweet. It’s not bad though!”

6. Lipton Wanashi Tea [リプトン和梨ティー]  3 points


“You can really taste the nashi (Asian pear) in this. It’s pretty good! It doesn’t taste like tea though… By the way, in England we don’t have nashi, only European pears. I don’t think people from England know what nashi tastes like. ”

5. TEA’S TEA NEW YORK Rose & Peach [TEAS’ TEA NEW YORK ローズ&ピーチティー]  3.5 points


“It’s sweet, like candy! It doesn’t taste like tea but it’s pretty good. And that’s great it’s 90% caffeine free. We don’t have much caffeine-free tea in England. I like this one.”

4. Sinvino Straight Java Tea [シンビーノ ジャワティストレート]  4 points


“This is good. I can really taste the tea. Compared to the ‘Gogo no Koucha Oishii Mutou’, this one tastes a bit stronger. I think I prefer the Gogo no Koucha because it’s easier to drink.”

2. Lipton Lemon Tea [リプトン レモンティー]  4.5 points


“This is good, and it has the perfect amount of sweetness! It’s perfect for summer. It has just a hint of tea.”

2. Gogo no Koucha Oishii Mutou (Delicious Sugar-Free) [午後の紅茶 おいしい無糖]  4.5 points


“This one is nice. It tastes like tea and is not too sweet. I like it! Really nice for summer. In England, though, all of our soft drinks are sweet, so I don’t think this would sell there.”

1. Lipton Peach Tea [リプトン ピーチティー]  5 points


“I really want this to be sold in England! We have lemon and mango flavoured teas, but this tastes even better. It has a good hint of tea and the right amount of sweetness! I could drink this every day!”


And she never went thirsty again.

Images © RocketNews24